By Danielle Chavira

DENVER (CBS4) – More than a dozen former Denver Public School board members wrote an open letter ridiculing the current school board for “forcing out” Superintendent Susana Cordova. Last week, the leader announced her departure as she accepted a job in Dallas, Texas.

Susana Cordova (credit: CBS)

In all, 14 women who served on the Denver Board of Education between the 1970s and 2019 signed off on the letter. They claim the current board created a hostile work environment for Cordova and undermined her leadership.

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The letter alleges Cordova was treated differently because she is a woman of color.

Happy Haynes, who signed the letter and served on the board until last year, says she’s disappointed Cordova is leaving, but adds this is an opportunity.

(credit: CBS)

“In between the hurt and the anxiety and the concern is a hope for the future. There is an opportunity. This board could take steps to establish a vision which in these past two years they haven’t done, and yet they criticize what was there in the past,” said Haynes.

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The school board released a statement to CBS4 not directly responding to the letter, but instead congratulating Cordova on her new position, adding in part,

“We are grateful for the many comments, suggestions and voices that have provided us with a lot of feedback and much to consider. We always receive such commentary with openness and reflection.”

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The board says it hopes to announce an interim leader during the first week of December. They say they plan involve the community in the process of searching for a permanent replacement.

Danielle Chavira